A bicycle pet carrier brings to mind an image of Miss Gulch, the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz, riding with Toto in a basket on the front of her bicycle. Adorable as it is to see Toto pop his head up, it’s certainly not a safe way to travel with your pet! Not that safety was a concern in the movie, of course, but as a veterinarian, pet safety is always my top priority.
Pet bicycle carriers may not be on the top
of your list of things you need to care for your dog or cat, and up
until recently, were not even considered a safe, reliable option for
traveling with your pets. But, in a tough economy and especially in nicer weather,
it’s understandable that many people would like to ride a bike and
transport their pets safely at the same time. That’s where Sleepypod’s
newest invention, the Sidekick bike rack, comes in!
Michael Leung, product designer and co-owner of Sleepypod, pointed out that bike racks are an important piece of equipment for both commuters and casual cyclists alike. While cats don't usually like going out for a ride like dogs do, I have personally had clients who lived near my hospital and didn't have any other means of transportation to bring their cats in for an exam except their bike. And if you have a dog, the new invention gives your pet a chance to explore the world around them.
Imagine going out for a Sunday bike ride through the park with your dog in tow. Instead of having to use a traditional trailer, where your pet is being pulled behind your bike or off to the side, he can ride comfortably right up front--right where you can see him, talk to him, and even pet him. Of course, since you really should have both hands on the handles and your pet should be safely zippered inside the carrier while in motion, petting will need to wait until you’re stopped for a drink or a quick break.
The Sidekick offers a crucial additional benefit to traveling with your pet by bicycle. Before traveling with pets, it’s always a smart idea to have them get used to their pet carriers, but especially if they will be enjoying the sights and sounds of the world around them and exposed to the elements of the outdoors for a prolonged period. That’s how Sleepypod’s invention differs from the other bicycle pet carrier designs on the market. The Sidekick is not a traditional pet bicycle carrier or pet bike basket that attaches to the front or back of your bike on its own. The Sleepypod Sidekick is a platform for holding the carrier that your pet already knows, loves, and is comfortable riding in.
The Sidekick is a stainless steel, front loading, stable bike rack that was designed to comfortably and securely accommodate your Sleepypod Mini, Sleepypod Atom, or Sleepypod Air pet carriers and turn them into the safest pet carrier for bicycle riding you could ever find. The Sidekick has three attachment points, utilizing the center break bolt and 2 fork eyelets to best use the center of gravity right above the front tire to keep your pet stable. Traditional front-mounted pet bicycle carriers use the handle bars for attachment, which makes your pet more likely to be jostled around, or worse, fall out of the carrier!
If you’re going to travel with your dog or cat, especially on two wheels, you want to know that you’re using the safest bicycle pet carrier available. And with the Sleepypod name behind The Sidekick, available in July 2012, I’m confident that there is now a fun, but safe, way of experiencing a pleasure ride with your pet!